Tales from a Dog Catcher

Tales from a Dog Catcher

"In the tradition of James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small and John Grogan's Marley & Me, Tales from a Dog Catcher is a humorous and heartwarming collection about love, laughter, loss, acceptance, and fate, in the world of an animal control officer."
- Publishers Marketplace"

...Writing in a style reminiscent of James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small, she recalls her experiences in 22 vignettes that dispel and replace stereotypes with an image of a compassionate individual concerned with animals and people alike. Like Herriot, she is a gifted storyteller and an astute observer.... At times amusing and heart-wrenching, this memorable book deserves wide readership. Highly recommended for public libraries. "
- Library Journal (starred review)

... In Tales from a Dog Catcher, she brings together these experiences in a magical book that is funny, touching, and heartrending by turns." - Amazon.com

"This is a wonderful book. I had a hard time putting it down. I was laughing and tearing up, sometimes at the same time! I didn't want it to end..."-Nina Killham, Bestselling Author of Believe Me, How to Cook a Tart, and Mounting Desire

"Having good writing skills isn't a prerequisite for getting a job as a dog catcher, but the two certainly make a good combination for the author of Tales from a Dog Catcher...Some stories are funny - some may move you to tears. I may be barking up the wrong tree, but I think they will appeal to animal lover's and even those who don't care for pets will enjoy reading about the eccentric people involved in these tales from a dog catcher." ...Phyliss Davidson - INFO Metropolitan Library System Magazine. Oklahoma

"Summer reading! Enjoy tales about hero hounds, crazy cats. Great dog books just made for Summer Reading! ... Here's a list of some of our favorite books ... Tales from a Dog Catcher by Lisa Duffy-Korpics is a collection of real stories about people and the animals they encounter...this book is in the tradition of "All Creatures Great and Small" by James Herriot. The stories are funny, sad, uplifting and even silly." ...Laurie Denger - Dayton Daily News. Ohio

"...In Tales from a Dog Catcher," author Lisa Duffy-Korpics recounts her years as an animal control officer in a series of fascinating and engaging stories...the stories can be funny and heartbreaking, often simultaneously...However, there is no shortage of entertaining encounters. Animal lovers will appreciate the candid tales, and enjoy a new perspective on an often unexamined profession."...Dog Channel.com

"Lisa's numerous on-the-job adventures are compiled in this collection of sad, charming, delightful and humorous short stories. ...Animal lovers of all ages will appreciate Lisa’s recollections of her memorable encounters with domestic animals and injured wildlife in the beautiful Hudson Valley." ...Rachelle Nones - Tri County WOMAN magazine. New York

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Shopping at the Mall - Otherwise Known as the Seventh Level of Hell

"I want my niece's ears pierced" said the loud overbearing woman with the fuzzy white hat.

"Fine, do you have custody of her?" replied the tired overworked sales girl behind the counter.

"What do you need to know that for?! I'm a paying customer! If I want her ears pierced then that's all you need to know!" Fuzzy hat's voice was getting louder - even louder than the disco version of Jingle Bells playing over the store's speaker system.

"Well" sighed the poor sales girl "I need permission from a parent in order to pierce ears on a minor."

All was silent for a moment save for the music in the background.

Jing-jing-jingle bells-wichy-wichy-woo-woo...

"It's a Christmas gift! It's a surprise!" screamed the woman with the fuzzy white hat - the hat looking whiter compared to her reddening complexion. It was a nice contrast.

"How is it a surprise? - If she's right here getting her ears pierced. She's going to know, especially once she feels the needle go through her ear lobe." Sales girl was gaining my admiration. I could sense I wasn't alone - others were quietly watching what would evolve. Mariah Carey had replaced the bad disco Jingle Bells -

"All I want for Christmas is you-oooo-ooh-ohh baaaby...." .

"I BROUGHT MY NIECE HERE TO GET HER EARS PIERCED FOR CHRISTMAS! HOW DARE YOU QUESTION ME...I'M NOT SOMEONE OFF THE STREET!" (Isn't that how she got to the mall - from the street? Just a thought.)

"Sorry Ma'am. I need a parent here to pierce anything. Store policy. It prevents minors from getting things pierced without permission."

"I'M GIVING HER PERMISSION!" the woman yelled. The girl with the un-pierced ears looked like she was backing up away from the crowd. "YOU GET BACK HERE!
Fuzzy hat screeched. Yes...it was actually a screech. Excitement was building here at Clare's Boutique at the Mall, yes indeed.

"You're not the parent. Can we call her mother - maybe that would be okay?" Sales girl was really impressing me. At this point I would've probably just called for the manager-or mall security.


And that's when I didn't keep my mouth shut. All I had to do was leave quietly, go to the candle store or sample cheese or something at the Hickory Farms Stand, but no. That would've been too easy.

"If you're a registered nurse, why can't you pierce them yourself?" I asked.

For a moment it was quiet, except of course for the end of Mariah's song. I've heard Mariah has a five octave range. Fuzzy Hat seemed to be able to hit six.

"COME ON!" The Aunt grabbed her poor niece by the arm and roughly steered her out of the store. There was a bit of applause and people saying "Yeah!" and "I hope I don't end up in her hospital!" I checked out my items and the sales staff asked me if I'd like a complimentary light-up feather pen. I said thanks anyway, but I already had so many feather light-up pens already.

Nobody questioned this.

After this I went to the bookstore. Nothing like this happens at the bookstore.

Happy Shopping! There's 15 more shopping days left until Christmas - enjoy the carnage!

cranky shopper photo courtesy of 123rf royalty free photos.


  1. I think Dante was at the mall when he wrote Inferno. Surprise piercing are such a good idea, almost as much fun as giving someone a surprise tattoo. Maybe that was her next stop.

  2. I used to work at a jewelry kiosk piercing ears when I was in high school. We had some interesting customers, but never someone as scary as this woman!


The Lyon Press, Guilford,Connecticut
The Lyons Press is an imprint of The Globe Pequot Press
Cover design by Georgiana Goodwin
Cover photographs © Shutterstock

Printed in the United States of America
US $16.95 / CAN $19.95
Tales from a Dog CatcherDuffy-Korpics © 2009
Dewey: 636.7
Dogs — New York (State) — New York — Anecdotes. Dog rescue — New York (State) — New York — Anecdotes. Duffy-Korpics, Lisa